We’re all aware that our climate crisis is on the rise, which means the world is changing. Soon, the health of our beautiful planet will be in the hands of the next generation. How can we expect our youth to step up if they spend their lives indoors? Planning outdoor youth adventures might be key to creating the climate heroes of tomorrow.
How do you get an iPad-addicted kid excited about a nature walk, hike, or outdoor trek? Meet them where they are! Creating outdoor adventure programs for youth is easy when you design opportunities that allow them to use their interests and strengths.
We’ve created this guide to share our top tips for creating outdoor adventure camps for youth. Keep reading to learn what really gets kids excited about the great outdoors!
Bring Their Worlds Together
Adults mistakenly think the first step to getting a kid interested in nature is convincing them to put their technology away. The reality is that the paradigm has shifted, and phones, tablets, and other technology are part of young people’s worlds. Instead of shunning it, consider integrating it into outdoor adventures.
Here are a few ways to get kids involved in natural exploration without shunning screens.
Geocaching has been a popular outdoor pastime since 2000, but has evolved a lot since then! It’s essentially a global, worldwide scavenger hunt. People hide “caches” in natural environments all over the planet. They range from large bins buried in the ground to tiny “microcaches” hidden on the backs of park benches.
You can use GPS coordinates, online clues, and your wits to track them down. When you find one, sign your name and carefully hide it again. You can even log your finds on the official geocaching app.
Kids love getting in on the “secret.” The technology integration is an added perk!
Use Digital Field Guides
Any outdoor youth adventure can become a scavenger hunt with the right digital tools. Consider involving digital field guides and similar apps to make your exploration more interactive.
For example, some apps allow you to record bird songs. Not only will they identify the bird, they will add that bird to your “collection.” This encourages kids to practice listening and mindfulness while out and about.
You don’t need to live anywhere exotic for these apps to work for you. You can log ducks quacking at the local park. You can even log seagulls in a parking lot!
Try a Photography Challenge
Cameras aren’t just for selfies. You can encourage youth to pay attention to their surroundings by encouraging them to photograph unique finds. At the same time, they’ll learn about framing, composition, focus, and more.
Consider planning an outdoor adventure for youth with a theme. For example, you might take a group out on a walk about a rainshower and go on a mushroom hunt. Those dynamic organisms are odd, colorful, quirky, and beautiful to photograph.
Consider using your photos to create your own virtual field guide or exhibit. You can even host a curated social media account featuring the best photos!
Join the Tru Flask Adventure Club!
At TruFlask, we designed our outdoor adventure club to work with schools and non-profits. Our goal is to facilitate outdoor activities and events for kids within underserved and overlooked communities. Each month, we seek to expose youth to a fun and safe outdoor environment. Anyone can become a club leader and join us in our mission to foster outdoor youth adventures.
Learn more about our youth outdoor adventure club and get out there!